Sat, 22 December 2018
O holy teacher of the faith
and pastor of Christ’s flock
who instructed with wisdom
and led by kindness and humility
those in your care
and all those around you –
teach us today
not only to know our faith
but to practice it by holiness of life
as you have done,
so thoroughly as a child of the Lord.
Pray for us
and pray for our priests,
for whom you are a model of perfection.
All yourself you have given
in imitation of Jesus;
may the Lord God
be in our hearts and on our lips
just so truly
as He has been
Sat, 22 December 2018
(Mi.5:1-4a; Ps.80:2-4,15-16,18-19; Heb.10:5-10; Lk.1:39-45)
“Blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
From the womb of Bethlehem-Ephrathah, from the womb of Judah, has come forth “one who is to be ruler in Israel; whose origin is from of old, from ancient times.” Now “she who is to give birth has borne”; now has our Savior come. Though He has existed from time’s beginning, it is now He is made flesh in the womb of this simple virgin.
“When Christ came into the world, He said; ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me.’” And so God comes in His own flesh to take away our sins. Prepared in the womb of the Immaculate Virgin, in this bright cave He is knit with sinews as we… and who could proclaim loudly enough the majesty of this humble event; who could declare in fullness the blessing of this Mother and Child? And their union is one which will save our race, as shown already in the Baptist’s leap for joy in his own mother’s womb. The Holy Spirit is working fully in the wombs of these mothers and in their children’s flesh and blood.
And so the psalmist finds answer for his prayer to God: “Rouse your power, and come to save us.” For here comes “He [who] shall stand firm and shepherd His flock by the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord, His God”; here is the One whose “greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth.” And so shall all who trust in Him be saved.
In body He comes like a Rock upon whom our feet stand firm. In the Spirit has He been formed in His Mother’s womb. And, yes, blessed is she “who believed that what was spoken to [her] by the Lord would be fulfilled”; and blessed are all those who have faith in the Son she bears. For all time meets in this moment; all prophecy speaks with one voice of the birth of this Holy One. And so, let us pray to God the Father: “Protect what your right hand has planted, the Son of Man whom you yourself made strong,” that we might praise forever the glory of your presence, in the salvation you have made known. May the peace He is be with us always.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Baby Inside" from The Innocent Heart, first album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, let the Mother of our Lord come to us, too,
that new life may stir in us as well.
YHWH, blessed is the womb of Bethlehem, of Israel, of Mary the Mother of your Son. For in her you have prepared a body, the body of Jesus, the Word made flesh, that shall be as offering for our sins. In Him we are saved, for in Him your majesty reigns, and so your glory is now in our midst.
O let us leap like John the Baptist at the approach of your Son and His Mother! Bring to life what has remained dormant for such a long time. Arouse within us the joy of new life that we might be stirred to proclaim your glory. He has come who shall shepherd us, LORD; let us be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The sacrifices of old now pass away as all prophecy is fulfilled in the flesh of your only Son. And so we pray, let your will be done. Let your greatness reach to the ends of the earth and your peace reign in every heart by the power upon Jesus the Christ. O LORD, let us be consecrated to you in His holy offering.